Corporations Are Not Your Friend

We’re living in a time of enormous economic uncertainty, both good and bad. From a potential recession to a resurgence of labor rights activism to high inflation to a revamped IRS budget, it’s hard to know what to expect for our future and what to expect from the different actors within our economy. But if one thing is certain, it’s this: ultra-rich individuals and corporations will do whatever it takes to end up on top.

Every day our nation’s wealthiest corporate executives, shareholder boards, and rich tax cheats fight to protect the power and money they have amassed. They continue to demonstrate a disregard for their workers, a predisposition to union-busting, and a willingness to take any step possible, legal or not, to avoid paying their fair share. The message from the oligarchs running our country is clear; so long as they get theirs, they don’t care about the welfare of their fellow countrymen. We as citizens need to ensure that we don’t let wealthy cheats take advantage of our population and hold them accountable for paying their fair share.

This week we’ll look into some examples of the rich taking advantage of the rest of us for their personal profit and how we should keep them honest.

Real Estate CEO: Recession Could Be “Good” If “Unemployment … Puts Employers Back in the Driver Seat” by Ken Klippenstein and Jon Schwarz
If you needed any more evidence that corporate executives and shareholders view workers and the average American with anything but disdain, the comments in this article should be more than enough to satisfy that. Numerous CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies have gone on record admitting to analysts and shareholders that they want their employees to be less economically secure so they can take advantage of them more easily. They talk about how a recession will allow them to once again use unemployment (and the ensuing poverty that comes from it) as a tool to put down their employee’s demands for good pay and working conditions. This should make one thing very clear: massive corporations aren’t your friends.

Offshore Tax Loophole Helps Rich Americans Cheat IRS, Senate Says by Neil Weinberg and David Voreacos
The Senate Finance Committee, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), released a report detailing a frightening loophole in our nation’s tax code that the rich use to evade their tax bill. We’ve known for years that the rich can avoid taxes using shell corporations, but the extent of the abuse is troubling. This loophole makes it easy for the wealthy to misclassify their offshore accounts, leading to billions of lost revenue. The historically under-funded IRS has for years lacked the resources to do all but a surface check on these accounts, allowing billionaires and millionaires to fly under the radar and keep their hoards of wealth from ever seeing any taxation. Fortunately, the additional funding that the IRA has allocated to fund tax enforcement will empower the agency to make these rich tax evaders finally pay their fair share.

Starbucks illegally withheld raises from union workers, labor board says by Lauren Kaori Gurley
Earlier this week, we took a closer look at some of the egregious violations of labor laws Starbucks has been committing in a desperate effort to stop the unionization of its workforce. Well, just yesterday, Starbucks was ruled to have, yet again, illegally retaliated against its workers not only in unionized locations but at any location that has shown interest in unionizing. The company has extended special benefits to all its workers, except those at union and union-hopeful locations. If you didn’t already know: giving preferential treatment to non-unionized workers in an attempt to discourage collective action is in direct violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

IRS sets the record straight: We’re going after tax evaders, not honest Americans by Charles P. Rettig
The Current commissioner of the IRS, Charles Rettig, writes in this op-ed about how the new IRS funding will and will not be used. He dispels some of the common (albeit ridiculous) myths that have been swirling around the conservative news sphere for the last few weeks. We agree with most of the op-ed – it’s fantastic that the IRS is being funded, both to aid regular workers in the tax filing process and to go after wealthy tax cheats – but we’re still skeptical of Rettig’s leadership abilities to carry out these plans. Rettig, a Trump appointee, has a history of shady dealings when it comes to his term as commissioner, and even though he’s claiming he’s committed to these progressive new policies, he needs to be replaced with someone who has walked the walk, not just talked the talk.

When Private Equity Takes Over a Nursing Home by Yasmin Rafiei
When Senator Sinema sold out her constituents to protect special tax breaks for the private equity industry, she justified it by claiming private equity was an important piece of our economy and a job creator. The truth is, however, more often than not private equity is a destructive force that kills jobs in the name of efficiency and profits off of human suffering. This deeply disturbing expose in The New Yorker details how nursing homes, home to some of society’s most vulnerable populations, are ground zero for some of private equity’s worst abuses. When private equity firms acquire nursing homes, deaths among residents increase by an average of ten percent. This is not an industry that deserves a special tax break.

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